RC, DC powers to order confinement of citizens petitioned
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REGIONAL Administration Act that empowers Regional Commissioners (RCs) and District Commissioners (DCs) to order 48-hour confinement of citizens has been challenged.

Advocate Jebra Kambole has filed the constitutional case at the High Court against the Attorney General, as respondent, challenging some provisions under the Act.

The justice panel comprising Principal Judge Ferdinand Wambali and Justices Pellagia Khaday and Rose Teemba is scheduled to hear the case on September 19.

In the petition, Mr Kambole requests the court to declare unconstitutional sections 7 and 15 of the Act for offending the provisions of Articles 13 (6) (a) (b) and (e), Article 12 and Article 29 (2) of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania.

He further seeks for orders to declare null and void sections 7 and 15 of the Regional Administration Act, and their immediate deletion from the statute books. The petitioner, through Law Guards Advocates, has advanced six grounds to support his case.

According to him, the cited provisions are vague, unjustifiably wide, ambiguous and too subjective, contravening the right to a fair hearing and the right to appeal, presumption of innocence, personal freedom to live as a free person and equal protection.

He states that the two provisions also do not provide any chance for bail within the 48 hours, leading to power abuse and contravening the right to equality of human beings and respect for personal dignity, as provided for under the constitution.

The provisions, the petitioner argues, provide an avenue for RCs and DCs to arbitrarily impose punishment of confinement to people they wish to punish, which is inhuman. He describes the punishment as degrading and violation of the right to dignity as per the mother law.

On June 28, 1997, the President of the United Republic of Tanzania did assent the Act No. 19 of 1997, which started to operate immediately in Mainland Tanzania.

The aim of the Act was to make provisions for restructuring regional administration to strengthen and promote the local government system.

In his affidavit to support the petition, the advocate stated that the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania of 1977 provides that every person has the duty to observe and abide by the Constitution and the laws of the United Republic.

It is further stated that every person has the right, in accordance with the procedures provided by the law, to take legal action to ensure the protection of the constitution and laws of the land.

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